Culture is the force that arrests memories in space, it sculps out time into something tangible, its the gravitational wave that binds human beings together throughout the cosmos, and if left unchecked, its the entropy that leads to the demise of civilization.
When Kanye West told Elon Musk that he would like to be making deals like him, Elon responded with “I don’t make deals, I build stuff.” We don’t exist in a society conducive for people who build stuff. We live in a culture that cultivates people who want to be someone, as opposed to people who want to make something. This is a culture of celebrity worship. We laud people and deem them the special people, they are praised around the world and people want to be them. Everyone wanted to be Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Will Smith or Brad Pitt, and with the creation of social media, that transformed into influencer culture. Now all the little kids want to be influencers.
Influencer culture isn’t about art, it’s not about creativity, it’s not about substance, it’s not even necessarily negative or positive, its strictly about garnering the most clout in whatever way you can, and that's the main cultural perspective that is cultivated among the youth. Kids look up to Andrew Tate, Addison Rae, Kylie Jenner, James Charles, Jake Paul, anyone that has been able to amass substantial wealth through garnering mass attention.
Influencer culture is why we've seen the rise of people like Tekashi 6ix9ine and more in recent years, its even why Donald Trump was elected president and Kim Kardashian is the most famous person on Earth. Being able to garner attention is more important than anything, its an attention economy which isn't very sustainable in the long run, especially on a societal scale. When nobody knows how to manufacture anything and an entire cultures economy runs exclusively on outsourcing attention, sooner or later the society will collapse because there is no foundation sustaining it.
We live in built societies & industries conducive for people looking to work within the existing infrastructure, the school systems are designed to prepare us for the workplace as it exists, but every year we realize how irrelevant the school system is becoming, not because education has become any less important, but because the infrastructure has not caught up to the radical innovation that is occurring in civilization, in fact the society is barely capable of paying teachers, while simultaneously giving NBA players billion dollar contracts, but it shows you the society’s value systems. It’s almost as if there’s a concentrated effort to create a slow society. If you're a kid in class and your teacher is struggling to buy a meal, and you go on your phone to see some 15 year old on Tik Tok making millions of dollars from doing viral dance moves, you're not going to be taking your teacher very seriously.
The internet is a world changing technology that allows us to have every piece of documented information ever recorded at the tip of our finger, we can use it to create softwares, apps, art, artificial intelligence, we can learn about the universe we live in, about science, engineering, about music, fashion & film, but instead it's mainly being used as a tool to gain attention.
I don’t think very highly of celebrities or influencers because that is a role, I care about creatives, artists, people who are able to express something beautiful, valuable, useful or showcase some type of technical efficiency. I think it downgrades my favourite creatives to call them celebrities or influencers, Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo weren't influencers, and thats how I view people like Kanye West, Michael Jackson, or Elon Musk. I like people who actually have solutions and can implement them, people who educate themselves and dedicate time towards the process of creation & building, people who have ideas, taste, sensibility, and an actual perspective. That’s why I’m so fascinated by artists. I believe the human being is the ultimate art, & the most valuable thing in the world is perspective.
You can’t teach perspective, taste, or style. You can help cultivate and develop a mindset but perspective is idiosyncratic, it's like your fingerprint. You can’t teach essence. You can’t teach a Lion how to be a lion. You can teach technique, but how you see the world is a part of your essence, and you can apply it towards your destiny.
When comedian Bill Burr was told that his comedy was offensive to people in the audience, he exclaimed how what he said is only a small percent of how the person is reacting, because his joke had to be filtered through this persons entire life, childhood and perspective, which made them get angry at his bit. Thats also how Bill Burr creates his material. Bill Burrs comedy is based on reacting to culture but it comes from his idiosynctratic perspective, you can't get that specific opinion anywhere else even if he's discussing a topic that millions have discussed because he has a unique perspective that allows him to filter information through his own lens, that's what true perspective is and it can be translated into anything as seen with Bills hilarious animated series F is For Family, his hilarious podcast, or his genius stand up, it all comes from the same well of perspective.
Christian Dior, the creator of the luxury brand Dior, was some artsy kid who really wanted to start art galleries because he was fascinated with the visual presentation, but when his gallery went bankrupt, he was forced into homelessness & surfing his friends couches for a few years, it was then that he decided to open up a luxury fashion house by taking his perspective in art, & applying it in fashion to make dresses and garments.
Dior's style is what differentiated him, his own unique idiosyncratic taste. He was able to take that taste from curating art and apply it towards creativity in another field because he was in tune with his own perspective. The deeper you delve into what makes you yourself, what you enjoy, what you like looking at, what you like wearing, what you like listening to, what you think, what you like watching, why you like it, the more you tap into yourself, the more you tap into your individual style, sensibilities, thought process, perspective, aesthetic and worldview, instead of just being impressionable and waiting for an influencer to support something so you can like it. It is then that you can actually start adding value to the world, because you’ll know what problems exist and where your skills match up with what the world needs, what you are good at that is of value to other people, how you can become qualitatively great at it, what you need to study, and once you’re qualitatively great then people will see value in your work and it will speak for itself, you won't have to catch fish because the fish will come to you. Good dope literally sells itself.
Dior focused on the mentality of opulence. Opulence means plenty, wealth, riches and abundance. To be opulent means to be very wealthy. It means to have a lot of resources. It means prosperity, affluence and assets, but this is not restricted only to money. There can be opulence of love, of happiness and peace, and other states of opulence. As an artist that saw both world wars, Dior wanted clothing to lose its army like formality, Dior saw it as a uniformed algorithmic existence partially responsible for the wars. Dior thought that if people focused on concepts like beauty, abundance, colours and styles, it could radically shift their perspective & way of life.
Diors perspective is similar to how a lot of solution oriented people throughout history have thought about creativity, they deemed it as something transcendent that could free humanity from the shackles of its biological limitations. Ancient philosophers like Socrates spoke of beauty as the highest ideal, and these were deep thinkers so this isn’t to be taken arbitrarily. They fundamentally believed that creativity & beauty were the entryway into building an ideal world. The study of sacred geometry, & the fibonacci sequence that were found in plants and constellations were viewed as universal signs of a grand architect, the fact that nature was intentionally beautiful led philosophers like Plato to believe that there was an ideal form of things and that through design and creativity we could achieve innovation & harmony. They believed that artists and creatives are tapping into the realm of forms when they design things and treated creativity as a sacred process, something we are rapidly losing in our world of content and influencers.
In more practical terms, the Chinese economy thrives on the western world's inability to build things. The Chinese culture is focused on nationalism, education, manufacturing and output. The Chinese economy thrives as the world's manufacturing powerhouse and the nation's products are literally everywhere. The majority of tags, labels, and stickers on a variety of goods proclaim they are “Made in China” due to the abundance of cheap Chinese labor that brings down the production cost, China’s strong business ecosystem, lack of regulatory compliance, low taxes and duties, and competitive currency practices. China made themselves indispensible, while the west made itself more expendable.
Which strategy will lead to prosperity, one where everyone in the nation is united under a common goal for national development and prosperity through individual labour, or one where nobody in the society knows how to do anything except to argue their points in 140 characters about gender and tie colours?
We just saw what happened when everyone relied on Russias gas and a war on the other side of the world made everyones gas prices look like lottery numbers. These societies have made the western world rely on them for everything.
While we’re bickering over pronouns, the Chinese culture has figured out that you don’t have to win an arms race, you need to win a creative output race, you need to make yourself indispensable. We all rely on China, we all relied on Russia, we all rely on Amazon, we all rely on corporations, and as long as we need someone else for us to maintain, then we are at someone else’s beck and call. Interdependence becomes subjigation when nobody needs you for anything and your only exports are violence and attention.
It’s not just about who comes up with the ideas, it’s about who can execute them, who can conceptualize, strategize, engineer, design & execute the vision from the ground up, at a high quality. Who can organize people towards a common goal, who can pivot when necessary, who can adapt, who can fine tune, keep refining process, creativity, changing strategies, & remaining malleable. Who can make the money, maintain the money and grow the money, who can market. All of these things played a part in China becoming the Worlds factory.
Before I start sounding like a hater of the west I'd like to emphasize that I'm a very Americanized human. I love American culture, I think it was originally one of the greatest cultures that ever existed and it cultivated some of the best humans ever. American culture built planes, iphones and put man on the moon. I respect American Industrialists, I look up to people like Henry Ford, Michael Jackson, Berry Gordy, Jay Z, Kanye West, George Lucas, Louis C.K. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, industrialists, people who created beautiful products, services & jobs that are of value to other people, traversed industries, and kept solving problems. Solution oriented guys that thought in straight lines instead of in terms of rising up industries & hierarchies.
When Elon Musk couldn’t afford a rocket, he bought the pieces separately and built his own recyclable rockets from scratch at a cheaper rate than could have ever been imagined, because he wasn’t constrained by upward mobility in a specific industry or fame, he wanted to build rockets to get to mars. When Kanye West didn’t have beats to rap on, he started making his own beats on a computer made for video games to get the sounds that he saw in his head out, so that he could then rap on top of them. When George Lucas wanted the acuostics on Return of the Jedi to be perfect he developed a new company & new technology called THX that would perfect sound for all of film. When Record Labels couldn’t see that Reasonable Doubt was a generational record, Jay Z, Dame Dash & Biggs Burke just built their own record label to distribute it directly to their fans. When Louis C. K created a masterpiece stand-up special known as “Live at the Beacon Theater,” he sold it as a $5 download directly from his website to his fans. These people were solution oriented, they had an idea, they aspired towards it, they were resourceful, they conceptualized the outcome, they strategized the maneuvers, created the platform, honed their taste, style, sensibilities and perspectives, organized the necessary people, and they executed at the highest quality to achieve the best product outcome possible, which is a great product as well as prosperity for the consumer, producer, and source of labour.
You can’t make the people at the center of ideation sit on a casting couch if they’re able to execute, and you can’t make the labour force sit on a casting couch if they can ideate. This society tries to make us believe that we are incapable but we are capable of whatever we put our minds to, there’s just a concentrated effort to prevent us from putting our minds to anything and having us focus on mind numbing bullshit. The future is about problem solving, the future is about design, its about perspective, it's about skills, its about beauty, its about kindness, its about quality, its about resourcefulness, creativity, education, imagination, inspiration, aspiration, motivation, conceptualization, dreams, and money. Solve a problem, get paid for it. Its literally that simple. Help someone else, do something thats valuable to someone else, do something you love doing and create something beautiful for the world.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
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